These days, pinching pennies sounds like a good idea - to everyone except your banker! According to MSN’s Money Central, many banks have started saying “No” to people who want to deposit loose change. Others are charging fees to accept any coins, even if you’ve already rolled them! So, what gives? Carol Kaplan handles public relations for the American Bankers Association, and she says the answer is simple: Coins are a hassle. They’re bulky to store and heavy to transport, and often, banks that do accept rolls of coins find them to be short, or dotted with foreign money. According to the U.S. Department of the Treasury, it’s legal for any business - not just banks - to refuse to take change, or even paper money as payment! Still, that doesn’t mean your piggy bank is worthless. Here’s how to make every nickel count:

  • Spend your change - and save one dollar bills. Jeffrey Strain is founder of the website SavingAdvice.com. He suggests modifying the savings jar idea like this: Every day, stash away your one dollar bills, and then use your change to make small purchases. You’ll still get full value for your coins, and the bank won’t charge a fee for depositing bills.  
  • Include a few dollars in change every time you make a bank deposit. While the tellers don’t have to count it, they usually won’t say anything if you keep the amount small.
  • Check out change counting machines. Some don’t charge a fee if you accept a gift card instead of cash. However, before you pour your savings into the bin, make sure there’s a “free counting” button on the machine.
  • Speak up. Beth Kobliner is the author of How to Get the Most From Your Bank. She says that if your bank’s coin policy bothers you, talk to the manager and ask them to make an exception. It might be worth it to them if they want to keep your account.

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